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Desperate for authentic French bistro food

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All this talk about authentic croissants has got us hot and bothered about genuine French bistro food. Not to be a snob, but it might help the discussion if only those who have eaten in France reply? We've tried so many places in the city and find that close to nothing measures up to the wonderful French bistro food that we could have every day when we lived in Paris. Like Le Villaret, or Au Gamin de Paris, or Le Vingt. Reasonably priced, fresh, honest, unpretentious, wonderfully and lovingly made French bistro food.

Restaurants we thought might be promising but didn't quite meet the standard were:

- Les Halles
- Le Gigot
- AOC Bedford
- Robin des Bois (Brooklyn)
- Balthazar

If anyone has been to Le Petit Cafe in Branford, CT, that restaurant was exactly what we were looking for. Are there any Manhattan equivalents or should we just save our dollars for a trip to Paris?

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  1. Had a wonderful lunch over at Gavroche on 14th bet. 7th and 8th. Been to France and it's not the same, but I think wonderful in it's own way. The place is definitely underappreciated. Try the prix fixe lunch and then, svp, report back.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation! It sounds lovely. Do you know if the prix fixe lunch is available on weekends? Looks like the answer is no from menupages.com, in which case, we'll try the place for dinner when we can (and, tout a fait, will report back).

      1. I like either Le Bateau Ivre or Montparnasse on 51 st between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. Both are nice

        1. Try Le Refuge - 82nd Street, bet. Lexington and 3rd Aves. Their menu is at menupages.com

          1. You could try chez Jules on St-Mark's place between 1st and 2nd avenue. It has also live jazz. The food is good and the ambiance is also great.

            The food is better at Lucien on 1st avenue near Houston street. You should definitely try that place if you are looking for bistro food. The salmon tartare is really good.